May 1, 2020

Using SaaS Personas for LinkedIn Ads

If you’re a customer acquisition business, you probably have LinkedIn at the top of your marketing list to reach potential customers. The platform is often among the first choices for customer acquisition marketers because it’s known as a good place to reach professionals. You may have experimented with some of LinkedIn’s targeted advertising options, such as Sponsored InMail in the past. However, competition has increased for nearly every industry and you may be looking for a way to up your LinkedIn marketing game. This is where persona-based LinkedIn marketing comes in. Here are three ways you can set up and use personas to elevate your LinkedIn customer acquisition marketing.

The benefits of persona-based marketing

You may already be running some LinkedIn marketing campaigns, but doing so without a layer of persona targeting might mean you aren’t reaching your exact target audience. To take things up a notch in terms of strategy, map buyer personas before placing your next LinkedIn paid social campaign.

Marketing personas are profiles you construct that reflect certain ideal segments of your target audience. Most businesses end up developing several target personas, as their customer base is diverse enough to need different messaging, advertising touchpoints, and sales nudges. The beauty of personas is that they are based and built off of customer data you already have. Starting with your closed customers, you can analyze data such as demographics, behaviors, pain points, and buying process to develop a robust profile of your ideal customer for that audience segment. The specific characteristics of your personas can then be mirrored and used to build out ad targeting audiences on LinkedIn. This extra layer of information will help make sure your campaigns are more effective and efficient, increasing your campaign return on investment (ROI).

STEP ONE: Identify and Build Personas

If you already have marketing personas built, you’re a step ahead!

If you’re looking to build your personas, the best place to start is with your own internal CRM system. Your CRM platform should have a wealth of data on your customers from all across the customer journey. The biggest treasure trove will be found in the information on your closed customers. By analyzing what your closed customers have in common, you can start to put together a list of characteristics that you can look for in future customers. Closed customers are a great place to start because they have the most complete and successful sales journey in engaging with your business.

Start with a two-pronged approach to analyzing your closed customer data. First, take a look at the information on the customer company itself. Work to uncover characteristics of the business as well as map the touchpoints along their journey to becoming your customer. Examples of what you can look for in your customer company data includes:

  • Company size, location and industry
  • Marketing budget
  • Business pain points and challenges

Second, analyze data on the individual contact(s) at your customer company who closed the deal with your business. Investigate their demographic and behavior information for clues. A few traits you can look for with individual customer contacts could include:

  • Job title, career role, and responsibilities
  • Family/life outside work
  • Household income
  • Role in purchasing SaaS products
  • Content consumption behaviors

You should now be able to create a full profile of your ideal customer company and individual buyer(s) to build a persona. Once created, your personas should give you a good roadmap on how to create audience-specific messaging and landing pages.

STEP TWO: Create Specific Ad Copy Messaging w/ Appropriate Landing Pages

Creating specific ad messaging and landing page experiences for each of your target personas is critical to helping them along their customer journey.

Start by taking a look at each of your persona’s identified pain points. Use the uncovered information to create ad copy, email content, and landing page copy that speaks to those pain points. Make sure to focus on the key elements you offer your potential customers, versus just the benefits of working with you. This focus enables you to provide more value to potential customers as they are searching for solutions to their challenges. Ask yourself a few of the below questions as you are creating copy to see if you are the right track:

  • Does your content offer a solution to common customer frustrations?
  • How does your messaging address the motivations for a potential customer searching out a solution like yours?
  • How are you helping your customers reach their goals and is that detailed in the content you’re creating?

In addition, you can add another layer of information to your pain point copy – create a version for each stage of the proposed customer journey. Being able to speak to a prospect in a way that addresses their challenges in a way that resonates based on their journey will help your marketing campaigns be more impactful and successful.

Remember: Your target audience doesn’t want off-rack-content – they want rich, engaging material that meets their specific needs.

Once your content creation is done, you’re ready to marry your marketing persona profile and companion messaging with custom LinkedIn ad targeting.

STEP THREE: Match Personas to LinkedIn Demographic Targeting

Unlike most other social networks, personas you use for LinkedIn marketing will revolve around your audience’s professional, rather than personal, identity.

LinkedIn gives several good targeting options to help make sure you can match those professional characteristics with ad audiences. Targeting options include:

  • Company:
    • Size (number of employees)
    • Industry
    • Name
  • Job Experience:
    • Previous and current job titles and
    • Interests in specific job functions
    • Job seniority
  • Education:
    • Fields of study
    • Degrees attained through school
    • Member schools
  • Demographic characteristics:
    • Gender and age

Utilizing persona targeting in your paid social marketing efforts can help you get better results. That can result in more customers, and a better return on your ad spend! Without the level of personalization that personas bring to your marketing, it’s almost impossible to know how to message your product to talk specifically to customers’ pain points and needs or to reach them in the right way.

Want to learn how to get started with persona-based marketing for LinkedIn? Reach out to our experts today.

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